Thursday, September 18, 2014

September 10: 4 Books

39. It's All Too Much: An Easy Plan for Living A Richer Life with Less Stuff by Peter Walsh

I love this book. It is a reread of one of the more inspiring life organization books I have come across. If I had to choose one book on organization and PURGING, though, it might be the other, Throw Out 50 Things, which I will be reviewing shortly. THIS book (It's All Too Much) is a fairly no-nonsense guide to going through each room in a typical house and purging everything that is no longer relevant or needed in one's life.

My favorite, life-changing concept from this particular book is the idea of TAKING PHOTOS OF EVERYTHING THAT YOU MIGHT HAVE EMOTIONAL CONNECTIONS TO, but which you haven't used in over a year and which are taking up too much space. For example, not that I have this to contend with, but suppose you have a collection of large bowling trophies. The trophies need to go -- well, take pictures and then get rid of the trophies. Make sure the photos are good quality, and then cherish your memories via the photos going forward.

This book resonates deeply with my current life, because I am currently right in the middle of a MAJOR purge of my own personal belongings, in an attempt to make my home really resonate with my current life.

40. Zen and The Art of Happiness by Chris Prentiss

This is a reread of a book given to me by one of my exes earlier this year. It was one of her two favorite books and she wanted to share it with me.

I have read SO many of these books lately that this one just blends into all of the rest. I don't recall anything particularly special about this one book, but I do recall being at least a little bit inspired to be a happier person while I was reading it.

I can neither recommend or not recommend this book. I suppose that if you are looking for a short, concise book that might help you to find some meaning and happiness in your life, depending on your personal life history and direction, this might be a nice book to read. There are some inspiring stories of the author's battle with drug addition and ultimate triumph over that downward spiral.

41. The Element: How Finding Your Passion Changes Everything by Ken Robinson

This is the other favorite book of the same ex from earlier this year, given to me as a gift. I wanted to reread both books so I can sell them and, quite candidly, have one less reminder of said ex.

That said, this is a great book. Not an amazing or absolutely incredible book, but a really solid book about creativity and being true to oneself, and most importantly, about finding one's tribe -- in other words, seeking out other people who share your own particular vision and creative understanding of how the world works and how you want to approach the world.

My favorite anecdote is one about a famous dancer who was thought to be learning disabled and emotionally and mentally handicapped as a child. Fortunately, a guidance counselor recognized a possible source of the child's physically restlessness and seemingly spastic energy. Leaving the child in a room and observing from further away, unseen through a window, the counselor realized upon watching the little girl move throughout the room as she played out an adventure in her own mind, that the girl was a born dancer. He explained this to the parents, who promptly relocated their child to a school of the arts and the rest is history.

The point of this book, as far as I can tell, is that it is most important for each of us to figure out what we really are best at, which is usually also what we are most passionate about, and ten to surround ourselves with people who can bring this talent out in us as much as possible.Good thoughts, good thoughts.

42. Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

I read this book in high school French class. French was the second foreign language I studied (Hebrew being the first, as a child in Hebrew School -- but, really, who pays attention in Hebrew School?!)...

I excelled in French as a child, but didn't speak or read it for over 20 years following high school, until an interest in Cantonese Chinese rekindled a dormant interest in foreign language learning in general, perhaps 5 years ago. I recently purchased one of many vaguely "first" editions of this classic French language children's story and thought I would add it to my 1 month reading challenge.

The point of this book? Adults really ARE stupid compared to kids, aren't they? It seems that most adults have unlearned or forgotten the most important things in life, ideas that kids know to be so crucial to happiness and fulfillment on this planet...

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